New Interim Principal at Lafayette Elementary

From the West Seattle Blog:

Seattle Public Schools just announced that another elementary principal from West Seattle is being promoted to management downtown – this time Lafayette’s newest principal Shauna Heath, after just a few months.

From the district:

Today I’m announcing a leadership change at Lafayette. Your principal, Shauna Heath, has been appointed Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction. In her new role, Ms. Heath will oversee Early Learning, College and Career Readiness and core content areas.

I know Lafayette staff and families went through a principal search process last summer, and I understand it is a hardship to have a leadership change mid-year. But we need Ms. Heath’s leadership to help all of our nearly 50,000 students. Congratulations to Ms. Heath, and I know she will be missed at Lafayette.

Birgit McShane has been appointed interim principal. This is effective Jan. 7, and Ms. Heath will be available to ensure a smooth transition. Ms. McShane is a long-time educator and retired principal. She is a graduate of Seattle Public Schools and spent more than 30 years as an educator in the District – including serving as the principal at Graham Hill Elementary and Daniel Bagley Elementary — before retiring in 2006. She also recently served as interim principal at Leschi Elementary when the principal was on maternity leave.

We will move quickly to form a hiring committee. Carmela Dellino, Executive Director of Schools for West Seattle, will attend the Jan. 17 PTA meeting, along with our Human Resources staff, to gain parent input regarding desired qualities of their principal. We will also meet with Lafayette staff next month.

We will also draft and send out an electronic survey to gather additional input from families. We hope to post the position by Jan. 21. A team of staff and family members will interview candidates, with a first round of interviews completed by the end of February. Our goal is to have someone in place by the end of March.

I recognize that leadership change creates a distraction in the school. But I am confident the Lafayette staff will ensure strong teaching and learning continues during the next several months.
José Banda

Those of us who know of Birgit McShane's work (a lot at Bagley Elementary) know that Lafayette is in GOOD hands.  She's a great, steady leader.  


mirmac1 said…
What is it...four principals in 3 1/2 yrs? Is that a record?
Anonymous said…
How does Ms Heath feel about the current math curriculum? That's the million dollar question.

Jet City mom said…
The elementary school principal who canceled Halloween because it might offend "other cultures", is in charge of curriculum & instruction?
Anonymous said…
McShane is not a good match for this school. This school has a good special education inclusion program. McShane is very (very) old school. She has no tolerance for special education. This is a terrible decision. Brace yourselves Lafeyette special education families.

Why rehire
Anonymous said…
4 principals in 3.5 years is on track to tie my daughter's time at Coe back in the mid to late 90's. She had a different principal every year for the 4 years she was there. I guess I am saying, same old, same old....

Anonymous said…
Lawton has had 5 principals since 2009
Noh (thru 6/ 2009), Raines (8/2009-2/2010), interim Bledsoe (2/2010-6/2010), Helm (8/2010-10/2011) and Gerrans (10/2011- present)

Anonymous said…
Right! Bagley improved dramatically when McShane left. The idea that certain kids don't belong in the school is so far out of date. Now with the sped programs in shambles,we need principal s who actually understand that all really does mean all.

Anonymous said…
She made a lot of promises to the community at this school. I guess none of that mattered in the end. I would be frustrated if I was still a parent at this school. Adding this to the reasons I am glad we left after one year there. The Lafayette community deserves better.

Former Lafayette Parent
Anonymous said…
Graham Hill had NINE principals in 6 years (following the successful tenure of Birgit McShane who was moved to start the Montessori Program at Bagley), so I think that was a record.

Solvay Girl
mirmac1 said…
McShane has been called out for harassment and insensitivity towards children with disabilities.

Gee, that must be why SPS keeps her employed and in positions to hurt more vulnerable children.

What does it take to get rid of terrible principals?
Anonymous said…
This is my worst nightmare! We have a child that qualifies for Spec Ed and just started at Lafayette last year. Each meeting that we have had with the school - a different person in leadership has attended. No consistency. We had a meeting last night, the first day for the Interim Principal. The comments here have me terrified for what we have to expect these next few months.

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